Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

As King Saul was processing victoriously through his kingdom, women would come out to greet him (and David, the King’s servant) singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Scripture tells us that, “Saul was very angry and resentful of the song …” (see 1 Sam 18)
Now, Saul should have been on the top of the world. He had won a great victory. The prime rival of Israel was defeated. Peace and prosperity were sure to follow. His people loved him. His hand-picked-servant was successful. Instead of rejoicing he compares himself to David. The end of this story is that eventually Saul persecutes an innocent David. The enemies of King Saul mount an assault and Saul rejects the help of David in the battle, “Is this not David for whom they sing during their dances, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, David his tens of thousands.’” Many died as a result of Saul’s jealously, including King Saul. Then David succeeds him.
Ironic, isn’t it?
The very thing that King Saul feared happened precisely because he acted out of fear and resentment. When you are eating an ice cream cone, enjoy it. Don’t compare your cone to the person next to you. Whatever size the other cone happens to be does not change by even one molecule the size or flavor of yours! There will always be someone with a bigger or tastier cone. Rejoice in what you have; it is all a gift.
When you find yourself focusing on comparisons, try making a list of your manifold blessings. Start with the fact that you can read and write. Maybe continue with the fact that you have a roof over your head; you have eaten today; you can walk; you are healthy; etc. I cannot list your blessings because we are all different, but I do know that we miss so many of our blessings because we are focusing on other people’s blessings.
Be grateful and watch how much more joy you have.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at
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